The Hippo


May 28, 2020








Theatre KAPOW invited company friends and supporters to the first rehearsal of Time Stands Still last week. The May production at the Derry Opera House will be the “fully realized” version of the play; members also read it at the Currier Museum of Art

Theatre KAPOW open training

If you’re an actor (or want to be an actor) and want a taste of the theatre KAPOW way before the May production, attend an open training event Saturday, April 18, from 9 a.m. until noon at the studio on the third floor of 83 Hanover St., Manchester. These training sessions are held every month and cover acting, movement, improv, voice, speech, object work, etc. All are invited, and no experience is necessary. All trainings cost $5.
See Time Stands Still
Where: Derry Opera House, 29 W. Broadway, Derry
When: Friday, May 1, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, May 2, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, May 3, at 2 p.m.

Pulling back the curtain
A look at the theatre KAPOW process

By Kelly Sennott

On March 31, theatre KAPOW did something it had never done before. 

In fact, it did something virtually no New Hampshire theaters do — it invited theatre KAPOW friends, past collaborative artists and financial supporters to the very first rehearsal of its next production, Time Stands Still, by Pulitzer Prize winner Donald Margulies. The show occurs at the Derry Opera House May 1 through May 3.
The open rehearsal was at Pinkerton Academy’s Black Box Theatre, and about a dozen people attended, lining the theater’s back wall in silence as show director Matthew Cahoon explained the set design — a shabby chic Brooklyn apartment with bookcases, big windows and “like a thousand square feet of brickwork” — and the play’s overall concept to the cast and crew. 
“Realism is the key to this whole show,” Cahoon said. “These are stories that deserve to be told, and they have such an impact on people. It will be very real, certainly by theatre KAPOW standards.”  
This season, sets and costumes have been minimal. In October’s Macbeth, the only props cast member used were scarves. Actor Peter Josephson, who plays Richard, joked, “Great, now I have to reconceive the whole script!”
Lighting designer Tayva Young explained her vision — to use real windows so that it looks as natural as possible — and Carey Cahoon brought in a few key prop and costume pieces, including scar and wound temporary tattoos, a leg brace and padded belly costume.
Then, cast members read the script aloud for the first time together. (Josephson, Carey Cahoon and Gina Carballo had also read the play as part of the company’s ARTiculate Playreading series at the Currier Museum of Art in relation to the exhibition on view at the time, “Visual Dispatches from the Vietnam War.”) 
The play follows a photojournalist who’s recently returned from covering the Iraq war after becoming injured by a roadside bomb. At her side is her reporter boyfriend (who is riddled with guilt at having left her at the war zone), her photo editor and her photo editor’s new girlfriend. Seeped into the script are tough questions, like: How do you separate yourself from the action you witness? How do you create an impartial lens? Why would you do this to yourself? All fall under theatre KAPOW’s seventh season theme: “see.”
“A lot of companies around the country do this type of thing,” said Matthew Cahoon via phone the day after this open rehearsal. “I think we’re very aware of the fact that the 90 minutes to 2 hours [the audience is] actually sitting in the theater watching the show is very limiting in the way we can engage them. And so we were interested in the idea of pulling back the curtain and allowing them to see what goes on in the process.”
At the end of the reading, Matthew Cahoon asked the cast and crew: what rises to the surface? A handful of audience members interjected and provided feedback about the show. Anne-Maria Contarino, a Saint Anselm College professor, thanked the members for the invitation.
Not a lot of actors would be into the idea of having open rehearsals, said Matt Cahoon, but he thinks the cast fed off the energy. So often, he said, the theatrical process is like an iceberg, and the audience only really gets to see the tip. It’s his hope to continue to hold events like this, because he thinks the process by which a show comes together is equally enjoyable and rewarding to see.
Roy Shoults, a devoted theatre KAPOW follower, attended the open rehearsal and said he goes to nearly all theatre KAPOW’s shows. 
“If I missed one, it was by accident,” he said. 
As seen in the April 9, 2015 issue of the Hippo.

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